Smothered with Love at Hurst Restaurant – Garden & Gun

Felton Hurst Sr., their son, worked as a skycap before he stepped into the lead cook role in 1994. Now seventy-six, he arrives six days a week before seven to stand alongside his wife, Marilyn, smothering pork parts and cooking down pots of greens. Flavored with smoked neck bones and pickled pig tails, his hand-torn and long-simmered greens are as good as any I’ve ever eaten.

Thirty pounds of mustards and eight pounds of collards go into that pot each morning. By eleven, when his regulars gather out front, those greens have collapsed into a pork-bobbed heap that tastes vaguely sweet and appropriately sharp and reminds me that, no matter my crush on new flavors and influences, the cooking that stirs my soul often relies on the back-and-forth of leafy greens and smoked pig. Spooned onto a white plate, alongside a spreading lagoon of red beans and two mounds of white rice, the greens at Hurst taste like a proof of concept for the generational transfer of knowledge.
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